Vaccination rate expected to improve in April thanks to new dose deliveries
Hungary’s inoculation rate is second only to Malta’s in the EU, giving rise to the hope that herd immunity would set in early.
Gergely Gulyás, the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, said sluggish vaccine deliveries are making the progress of the inoculation campaign very uncertain. He told a press briefing that the situation is expected to improve in April thanks to “an unprecedented number of doses” arriving from China and Russia.
The minister added that faltering delivery from the European Union will hopefully also improve in the coming months. A decision on the schedule to reopen shops in Hungary is expected at the meeting of the operative board in charge of controlling the epidemic on Friday. Gulyás said the operative board was looking into a proposal of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on allowing one customer per 10 square meters in shops. He said such a regulation would be welcome, but “there is no way to tell how many people would queue up with Easter coming up.”
Hungary’s inoculation rate is second only to Malta’s in the EU, giving rise to the hope that herd immunity would set in early. Gulyás said that over 80 percent of coronavirus-related fatalities were among the elderly, adding that once they were inoculated, hopefully the current “grim numbers” would fall sharply. Regarding reopening the economy, Gulyás said the government was working on a plan with “clear objectives” linked to the number of people inoculated.
Gulyás said the third wave of the pandemic was likely to be nearing its peak. Average concentrations of the virus in Hungary’s wastewater are now stable compared with a week ago, he said, adding that it had taken about 7-10 days for the concentration levels to shift. Gulyás said there was “a good chance” that Hungary could be done with vaccinating those over the age of 65 who have registered for a jab in the first half of April or even before Easter.
Concerning the two new vaccines that have been licenced by Hungary, Gulyás said the government had not yet signed a purchase agreement for either one. Hungary has, however, put in an order for 4,360,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose Janssen jab, he added. “As for when that will arrive, the answer to that lies with Brussels,” he said.
Photo credit: koronavirus.gov.hu